Doctoral Studies in Educational Science

Read more about the PhD programme


PhD projects applied for in 2023

Faculty of Social Sciences

Faculty of Science and Technology


The doctoral programme of educational science in the Institute of Education prepares its students for independent research work as well as for undertaking top specialist positions in the education system. The doctoral programme of educational science functions as a joint curriculum, incorporating the doctoral students from the Institute of Education and the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences. The doctoral degrees are awarded by the joint council of the two institutes.


Admission to PhD programme Educational Science

Admission requirements: PhD project (50%), entrance interview (50%).

Candidates are required to have a minimum score of 66 points.

Assessment criteria for PhD thesis project:

1. innovation and the importance of the PhD thesis (up to 20 points)

2. justification of the research problem (up to 20 points)

3. the adequacy of the research methodology (up to 20 points)

4. feasibility of the PhD thesis project (up to 10 points)

5. the candidate’s research potential to make the PhD thesis based on the project (up to 30 points).

For completion of admission requirements at least 50 points are necessary.

During the entrance interview, the applicant must describe up to 5 minutes his/her doctoral thesis project in English; this is followed by up to a 25-minute-interview conducted by the committee.

The interview assessment criteria are the following:

1. the author’s ability to identify and formulate his/her project for doctoral thesis (incl. research problem, related scientific publications, methodology) (up to 30 points)

2. motivation to learn in doctoral studies in education and to work in the field (up to 10 points)

3. broader ability to analyse and make generalisations on pedagogical topics (up to 20 points)

4. orientation in problems concerning education in Estonia and in the world (up to 20 points)

5. self-expression skills (all candidates must have self-expression skills in English, candidates speaking Estonian as their mother tongue must be able to express themselves in Estonian, too) (up to 20 points)

For completion of admission requirements at least 50 points are necessary.


Rules and Organisation of PhD Studies

A doctoral candidate is a student who has all the rights and duties of a student and an external doctoral candidate is a person who, upon completing a doctoral curriculum, assumes the duties of a student and the rights provided for in the legal requirements of the University. A doctoral candidate and an external doctoral candidate (hereinafter doctoral candidate) must be considered and treated as a junior researcher and a colleague.

A doctoral student’s research, creative, study and development activities and work with students must be supervised and supported. The University’s supervisor is a professionally competent researcher who has experience of the University and the international research system and possesses characteristics and competencies required for supervision.

The rules that govern the organisation of doctoral studies at UT are set out in the regulations for doctoral studies and study regulations document.
See also the good practice of doctoral studies.


PhD Progress Review

The PhD Progress Review in the 2022/2023 academic year will take place on January 26th, June 26th and 27th 2023.

Information for doctoral students admitted before the 2022/2023 academic year.

The period plan is the basis for the attestation of doctoral students admitted before 2022/2023 academic year.

There are two progress reviews in the academic year.

Part A

  1. Problem the thesis addresses, broken down into sub-problems as appropriate
  2. Literature outlines related to the problem (up to 1.5 pages for 1 and 2 together)
  3. Goals (sub-goals if appropriate) of the research
  4. Research questions/hypotheses
  5. Overall methodology (use sub-heading as appropriate)
  6. Reflection of the process of doctoral studies (describe, analyze, evaluate and discuss)

Part B

  1. Report of the work done so far to address the research questions (indicating relationship with published articles) prior to 2020-21
  2. Details of work done during 2020-21 to address the research questions/hypotheses (indicating published/submitted articles during this period)
  3. Changes made to the initial study design (If relevant)
  4. Evaluation of your status towards completing the thesis on time (up to 3 pages for a-d)

Necessary documents for the progress review: 

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